Matvienko: We need a special comprehensive federal law on Russian Arctic zone development
Valentina Matvienko, Speaker of the Federation Council, upper house of the Russian parliament, has come up with an initiative to draft a law on the development of the Russian Arctic zone.
"We need a special comprehensive framework inter-sectoral federal law on the development of the Russian Arctic zone," she said at a joint session of the Presidium of the Expert Council on Arctic and Antarctic affiliated to the Federation Council and the State Commission for Arctic Development.
Matvienko said the Federation Council had already raised the issue of legally regulating Arctic development in 1998. "If we decide today at this session that we do need the law, then we should immediately take the relevant organizational measures to prevent the matter from being shelved as before," she said.
Matvienko called for setting up a working group to draft the law, which would include officials from the Russian government, the presidential administration, the Federation Council, the State Duma, regional authorities, researchers and businessmen and representatives of public organizations. She also said a deadline should be set for submitting the document for preliminary hearings in parliament.
"The Council on Arctic and Antarctic affiliated to the Federation Council together with the State Commission for the Arctic Development and the Economic Development Ministry have prepared an initial concept and structure of the draft federal law On the Development of the Russian Arctic. It has been suggested that we consider them and use them as a basis for future work if there are no major objections," Matvienko said.
The speaker also said that the law would provide for organizational and financial incentives for the development of Arctic regions and also measures to enhance investment in the macro-region.
"The draft law should also identify ways of improving the legal framework of guarantees and compensations to people working in the Northern and Arctic areas," Matvienko said.
She also said the draft law should be passed by the end of next year. "We should do all it takes to have this draft law passed by the end of next year. Let's pool together to make it happen," Matvienko said.